Community, Flower Mound, Missionary, Service, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Who Are the Missionaries?

When you see them, you know.

Their well-kept appearance, the unmistakable black and white name badge, and happy countenance give their identity away. They are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While there are approximately 54,000 full-time missionaries serving in 399 missions worldwide, the Flower Mound missionaries, in particular, are somewhat famous. Of course, they would never promote themselves as such. They are incredibly humble – yet another tell-tale attribute.

These young people, often seen around town on bikes, on foot, or in cars – and always serving – are Flower Mound’s Outstanding Citizenship Group of the Year

What caused Flower Mound Mayor Derek France, the town council, and the award committee to take notice of these 18-to-25-year-old young men and women? It’s all about service. Service to their community – day and night, they show up through oppressive heat or unpredictable Texas weather. And always with a smile on their face.

Who Are The Missionaries? 

What makes these service-hungry young adults so happy, anyway? The answer to that question lies in a quick background lesson on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Charitable outreach is a core principle of the Church. Volunteerism and commitment to the community is a cornerstone of its culture, which aims to emulate Jesus Christ. The Church functions in large measure because of its members’ unpaid, volunteer ministry, also known as lay ministry. 

When a young person decides to serve a mission for the Church, they do so by their own volition and through their own bank account. Young women serve up to 18 months, and young men serve up to two years as an official representative of Christ. 

They essentially put their life on hold to fulfill a higher purpose. While their friends are beginning the next phase of their lives through college or employment, missionaries seek to share the good news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They do this through many methods: meeting and talking to someone new, social media interactions, and, yes, sometimes knocking on doors.

Most notably, their message is effectively shared through their love of serving.

How They Serve

Missionary work is conducted through a buddy system. They always serve in pairs – two Elders or two Sisters. When they first apply to be a missionary, it’s common for others to ask where that will be. However, they don’t choose where they go as it’s both an inspired and administrative assignment from Church leadership in Salt Lake City, Utah. An exciting surprise, to be sure! 

The missionaries received the Outstanding Citizenship accolade, not because of one event or even a series of events. There isn’t a specific name or a particular face attached to the award. It was a hat tip acknowledging the collective impact the missionaries have had on the Town of Flower Mound. 

“I don’t think I could claim a portion of that award. I give credit to the hundreds of Flower Mound missionaries who came before me, said Elder Steevun Lemon.

The missionaries’ work with Keep Flower Mound Beautiful was featured at December’s award ceremony. The majority of their work with KFMB involves the improvement of numerous parks and trails, the Mound, areas landscaping, and volunteering at the organizations’ semi-annual “trash-off” events.

Missionaries with KFMB President Marilyn Lawson

“I adore them all. The missionaries are easy to work with. They’re really hard workers,” said Marilyn Lawson, president of Keep Flower Mound Beautiful. “They’re willing to do just about anything. They help with so many different projects and never scoff at any of them. They always say, ‘Sure, we’ll help!’” 

They also work with Lawson on the Lend-A-Hand initiative, a program for residents that are close to or have code violations and need clean-up assistance to help them avoid citations. It generally involves the handicapped, elderly, or those financially unable to do the work independently. 

“They’re really sweet to the residents, very kind and respectful,” said Lawson. “The Sisters and Elders don’t judge; they just do what needs to get done.”

Additionally, the missionaries participate in Life Help, a program sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ that provides free, practical classes to anyone in the community throughout the year. These include ESL, job-seeking skills, basic personal finance, and more.

They regularly post on Flower Mound Facebook sites offering to help anyone who needs assistance with yard work, general chores, or anywhere they can lend an extra hand.

One In Purpose

To be a missionary is to be flexible and transitory. Missionaries are called to serve in geographically-defined missions and are transferred to a new area of that mission approximately every six weeks. Sometimes they stay longer, but once you get used to one face, there will be a new one to meet soon enough. The names and faces may change, but their unified purpose and heart to serve the community remains. 

“We move around often, so it can be kind of hard because we really do grow to love the people,” said Elder Lemon, 20, from Idaho. Just because we change, the person we represent doesn’t change. One of the most consistent things about the missionaries is who they represent – and that is Jesus Christ. When the missionaries change, that representation remains the same.”

Lemon’s companion, Elder Logan Hunt, 19, from Wyoming, agrees. “Eventually, we will be transferred (to a new area), but the love of the people continues. Missionaries get cycled out, but the spirit of the missionaries remain.”

Why They Serve

Why do they serve? Simply put, it makes them happy.

“I love losing myself in serving others. The happiness I’ve experienced on my mission is undeniable,” said Sister Alexa Hall, 19, from Utah.

“A big reason I am out here serving is that I want to share the love of Jesus Christ, and I want to pay that love forward,” said Elder Lemon. 

Often, there are misconceptions about the missionaries and what their intentions are. 

In the award ceremony, it was stated that “their No. 1 priority is to serve the Flower Mound community, no questions asked. There is no ulterior motive – just a desire to serve the people and community of Flower Mound.”

“We are normal people, explains Sister Hall. “We left school and friends and family and jobs to be here. Losing yourself in service and giving back is what this is all about.”

What To Expect

So what can one expect when meeting a missionary? 

“We’re easy to talk to,” said Sister Adelle Remke, 20, from Utah. “People are nervous to talk to someone they don’t know; they will hide in their phones or look the other way. From us, just expect a friendly wave, a smile, and warm, Christlike love.”

Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Flower Mound Mayor Derek France.

Sister Hall agrees, “We’re excited to talk to people. We love making a connection and showing people that we’re normal, we’re here, we’re part of your community, and we enjoy existing in cohesion.”

“I think some people are afraid that they will be preaching, but they don’t. They just work, said Lawson. They work really well with everybody.”

In the end, it’s all about the love of people and the community they serve. 

“I love the people of Flower Mound so much,” concluded Lemon. “They mean a lot to me. We grow a love for the people, and we want to help in any way we can. Whether through teaching or serving, we help build people.”

Related news coverage about the missionary’s award can be found at Flower Mound Town Life Magazine and Cross Timbers Gazette.

Featured Photo: Left to right: Sister Adelle Remke, Sister Alexa Hall, Elder Steevun Lemon, Elder Logan Hunt. Photo courtesy of Town of Flower Mound

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Clairissa Cooper, Reporter

Clairissa Cooper is a journalist, photographer, freelance marketing professional, and media specialist living with her husband and three children in the Lewisville Texas Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

By Clairissa Cooper

Clairissa Cooper is a freelance marketing professional and photographer. For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she serves as an Assistant Director – Media for the Dallas Coordinating Council and a marketing and media specialist for Community Life Help.